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West Yorkshire to receive share of £840m funding to upgrade key rail connections

West Yorkshire Combined Authority has secured funding for upgrading connections to eight of its rail stations after Theresa May announced that the authority will receive a share of a £840m transport fund.

The Department for Transport announced that the combined authority’s successful bid to the Transforming Cities fund, which is delivering £840m to upgrade public transport links.

Although West Yorkshire Combined Authority does not yet know the amount of funding it will receive, the plans are to improve the transport rail links between eight rail stations and four key routes in the Leeds City Region.

Cllr Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council and member of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: “To maximise the impact of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail we need significant investment to integrate these major schemes with local transport networks, particularly through the remodelling of Leeds Station.

“Our proposals will build on the progress we are making tackling congestion, speeding up journeys and encouraging public transport use through the £270m Connecting Leeds programme.”

The four key routes include Leeds to Bradford to Halifax, Bradford to Dewsbury through North Kirklees, Wakefield and Barnsley to Leeds and Five Towns to Leeds.

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and leader of Bradford Council, said: “We have a strong track record of delivery through our £1bn West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund and I am pleased the government has recognised we could do even more with the right support.

“Our bid focused on improving access to jobs, services and education for those communities who need it most and I hope the government will work with us at pace to agree detailed plans.”

Ten city regions are shortlisted for the next stage of Transforming Cities –  which has a total fund of £1.7bn – supporting cities to make it easier, safer and quicker for people to travel.

Plans at other local authorities will see investment in all types of public transport and mobility, including the Beeline Cycle Network scheme in Greater Manchester and tram line extension in Brierley Hill.

Theresa May said: “Our great cities and their suburbs are home to millions of people and world-beating businesses.”

The £840 funding of upgrades form part of the government’s Industrial Strategy and will provide “better, safer, faster upgrade links.”

The prime minister added: “These improvements to vital infrastructure will help spread growth beyond London and empower local businesses to create more, better-paying jobs – opening up more opportunities to help people get on in life and be rewarded for their hard work.”


Investment in the north of England’s railways will be discussed at this week’s exclusive rail event, TransCityRail North, where Judith Blake will be speaking alongside other leaders and industry decision makers. Visit the website here for your last chance to attend.


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